Students Create Vending Machine for Engineering Supplies


Read the full story by Anna Fiorentino, published by Thayer School of Engineering.

Forget cola and candy. Dartmouth’s newest vending machine offers consumables of another kind: batteries, duct tape, epoxy, and other project supplies. Installed outside the entrance to Thayer School of Engineering’s Machine Shop, the vending machine dispenses necessities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

From left, Thayer students and Machine Shop Teaching Assistants Yerwa Dheeraj Reddy MEM’13, Srivatsan Vasudevan MEM’13, and Amogh Poudyal MEM’13 refurbished an old vending machine to create the new one at Thayer. A fourth TA, Mani Alaei MEM ’13, also worked on the vending machine. (Photo courtesy of the Thayer School of Engineering)

“The Vending Machine Project provides authorized students with access to materials for project work any time, at no charge,” says Srivatsan Vasudevan, Thayer ’13, a student in the Master of Engineering Management Program whose job as Machine Shop Teaching Assistant (TA) is to facilitate student project work.

Before the vending machine arrived, students could access these supplies only from inside the instrument room and the Machine Shop on weekdays until 4:30 p.m., and would often ask TAs to locate them. Now, 33 small items approved by professors, including adhesives and gloves—in even higher student demand than traditional mill components such as nuts, bolts, and tools—are available in one place, freeing up TAs to train on technical aspects of project work. This new addition also cuts back on distractions caused by those who visit the machine shop only to gather materials for their course-related projects.

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